• Sweden's news in English

Bildt: bigger role for EU in Afghanistan

TT/The Local · 27 Jul 2009, 07:55

Published: 27 Jul 2009 07:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Bildt, writing on his blog, said his conversations with Swedish journalists had informed him that "certain people" were calling on Sweden to "more or less scrap our involvement in Afghanistan". The calls follow news that Swedish troops had been involved in an exchange of gunfire in the north of the country.

Bildt said that he had "great difficulty understanding" the calls for withdrawal. In the blog post, entitled 'Abandon? No, quite the opposite' ('Overge? Nej, Snarare tvärtom'), he argued that for renewed engagement with the country.

"I believe that the European Union can do more to help Afghanistan," he said.

He did not elaborate on the role he envisaged for the EU in Afghanistan. He said Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc, would table a proposal after the summer.

He also used the blog post to praise recent changes to US policy in the country:

Story continues below…

"They have recognised the need to protect civilians, and to focus more on civil and economic measures for building peace," he wrote.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:22 July 27, 2009 by bocale1
"I believe that the European Union can do more to help Afghanistan"... still not clear to me what Afghanistan we are supposed to help... is Karzai representing the whole Afghanistan? is their social structure, based on clans and very different from our western culture, compatible with the type of democracy we try to export? "Free" elections in middle east countries are so far proved the opposite, giving power to the most religion extremist groups around (Iran, Iraq, Palestinian, etc...). Or, instead, we are talking about a war that Western countries are fighting against Taliban which may represents a threat for us? if so, maybe that should be made clear with all implications, including civil casualties that, in a war, are nearly always an acceptable cost to pay.
10:02 July 27, 2009 by Huey
Let the Americans and their allies finish what they started. Politics from the EU would be a wrong choice at this time.
10:51 July 27, 2009 by Weekend_warrior
Sorry, but do you not think that the EU and "Neutral" Sweden, are allies of the United States?
11:49 July 27, 2009 by bocale1
W_w, of course we are but several military initiatives taken by US under the Bush presidency were definitely unilateral and this cannot be ignored (see Iraq, for example).

Concerning Afghanistan, I think that the point is to agree about medium-long term objectives of the mission (actually there are 2 different missions currently ongoing there) and those are far to be clear for most of the countries participating there.
12:02 July 27, 2009 by Nemesis
There is a simple choice here.


Leave the Americans to drown in the cesspit they have created for themselves in Afghanisatan and remove all European troops.


Take the gloves of, saturate Afghanistan with European troops up to at least 500,000 or more, all under European command, not American. Increase the number of US troops to at least 200,000 and put all American troops there directly under European control. Invite the Chinese to send as large a contingent of troops as they can spare. Remove every weapon frrom Afghanisatan and keep the troops there for at least 5 years, so as to stabilise and then very slowly bring the numbers down. Then give the entire bill for this to the US.
12:07 July 27, 2009 by Eye_Witness
Just replace the word "role" with "roll" in the topic headline, and it would make the perfect sense. " Bigger roll for EU in Afg"
09:13 July 29, 2009 by byke
I wonder what certain people had referred to sweden as to quit, and for what reasons?

I wonder if other task forces are unhappy with swedish tactics and operations in terms of achievements and quality?

Could it be that the idea of a multinational task force is great on paper but in reality based on success and quality of work, that certain groups are wished to be weeded to achieve a better result?
Today's headlines
Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

How to make autumnal Swedish apple cake
Photo: SwedishFood.com

This tasty cake is an autumn staple in Swedish cafés. Why not make it yourself!

Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

In Pictures: Look inside this perfect Swedish island home
This modern Gotland home was designed and built by two Swedes. Photo: United Frog Studios/AB

Anna-Lena and Johan designed and built their home with tall beautiful windows, a smart heating system, and a separate section for their greyhounds.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available